Richard Arnell – String Quartet No. 6, Opus 170 – Score Digital Download
This sixth string quartet is in six sections, played almost without a break. Begun in 1987 the work was subsequently abandoned, then restarted in 1990 and completed in May 1992. Premiered at the Cheltenham Music Festival. For professionals and advanced students.
This sixth string quartet is in six sections, played almost without a break. Begun in 1987 the work was subsequently abandoned, then restarted in 1990 and completed in May 1992. Premiered at the Cheltenham Music Festival. For professionals and advanced students. Review: "Richard Arnell's 6th String Quartet opens in an intriguing way using a scale of the composer's own making. Look Back is the second movement's title, which is an andante which I felt Elgar himself might not have disclaimed. Followed by a Dance in flamboyant mood, and then a duet for viola and cello. To hear a violin cadenza with an accompaniment is not completely unknown. Elgar has done it. On this night we heard Bowes playing artistically, with his colleagues using an imaginative technique. The work came to a conclusion with a restatement identified by the musical term 'sostenuto' – sustained. It gave the audience a great deal of delight, and the composer was there with the musicians to receive a sustained ovation." – Douglas Drane in the Citizen, July 1992. Review: "Richard Arnell's Quartet No 6 immediately struck with its unusual harmonization, not chromatic, but based on a scale in which the semitone intervals do not occur where you expect them. There are six contrasting movements, played almost without a break between them; the fifth movement, called Accompanied Cadenza, is just that, but both the cadenza and the accompaniment are out of the ordinary. The quartet is a remarkable work if not all instantly accessible." – East Anglian Times, July 1993
Richard Arnell was born in London in 1917 and educated at the Hall School, Hampstead and University College School before entering the Royal College of Music where he studied composition with John Ireland and Piano with Sir John Dykes. It was here that he began his first string quartet which was first performed by the Galimer Quartet at the 52nd Street New York Public Library in 1940. In 1938 he was awarded the Farrar Prize for composition. Between 1939 and 1947 he wrote his first important compositions, including his first three symphonies, concertos for violin and for piano and three string quartets. He was taken up by eminent conductors, among them Leopold Stokowski and Sir Thomas Beecham. From 1943 to 1946 he was music consultant to the BBC's North American Service. In 1947 he returned to England and became a composition teacher at Trinity College of Music, remaining on the staff until his retirement in 1987. He became an Honorary Fellow of the College in 1950 and a Principal Lecturer in 1981. He was appointed as music director and board member of the London International Film School from 1975 to 1988 when he retired. Arnell died in 2009.
This piece by Dominic Sewell was written for the Junior Course at Pro Corda Summer School (the National String Chamber Music Academy) where it received its first performance. It is an excellent introduction to tonal contemporary music for younger students aged 12 to 18. The piece is good for teaching purposes as it is short but also provides some technical and ensemble difficulties.
Most string quartets are long, but this short little piece in one movement was intended as an encore item, but could also fit comfortably into any portfolio for weddings or other functions. For schools, colleges, conservatories and professionals.
This quartet was written in 1954 when the composer, Carlo Martelli, was a 19 year old student at the Royal College of Music. This publication is of a recent revision of the work. There are three distinct sets of ideas in the first movement which are freely developed, although vestiges of sonata form can be discerned. The second movement is a scherzo and trio, which is joined without a break to the slow third movement - an interesting feature of this conjunction, is that at the close of the slow movement ideas from the trio and then the scherzo return to round things off. The last movement is a succession of free variations on a theme in which the interval of a fourth predominates. For conservatories and professionals. The Pavão Quartet recorded this work in August 2012 on the CD Carlo Martelli, released in October 2013 by Discadia Records, DISCA 002. Included on the same CD, and also published by Broadbent & Dunn, are Martelli’s String Quartet No. 1, Prelude and Fugue for String Sextet Terzetto for Two Violins and Viola.
A solid, serious work for aspiring string quartets or established groups, this piece was the subject of a master class from the Wihan Quartet from the Czech Republic. The quartet, inspired by Janáček's Intimate Letters quartet, was similarly inspired by letters from a woman to her lover. It is scored in three contrasting movements consisting of a gestural first movement, a slow arch form second movement and a fiery syncopated 5/4 finale.
'Frisco by those in the know is a jewel of a city. The titles of the four movements tell it all - Keeping Ahead of yourself is what you have to do in a city with a glorious past but an uncertain and uneasy present. Light Reflecting from the Bridge seems to warm the whole city, bathing it in a gently reddish hue. Alongside the pathway in one of the city parks is a sand track for horses, and every now and then you see Footprints in the Sand, some are in couples, others alone. The thoughts of those people who are alone touches you, but it is the Time to Be Certain and you regain your beliefs and confidence.